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Full text of "CHANGES IN PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF NAVAL AVIATION CADETS 1"










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CHAMGES IN PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS 
9L NAVAL AVIATION CADETS : 
I. IiroOCTRIITATION WEEK TO CQjylFLETION OF PRE -FLIGHT 

REPORT MMBER WM 001 O58.26.OI 






Illllli * -Of THE 

llllll NAVAL Al« $TATI0N 



U. S. NAVAL SCHOOL OF AVIATIOK MEDIGIMB 
MVAL Am STATION 
HiNSACOLA, FLORIDA 



RESEARCH REPORT 



GHAHGES IK PERSQKALITY CHARACTERISTICS CF NAVAL AVIATION CADETS ; 
1. ^IKDOCTRINATION WEEK TO COMPLETION ^ PRE -PLIGHT 

REPORT NUMBER KM 001 O58.26.OI 



Report 

1 

Lieutenant Commander Richard Trumbull, MSC^ USHR 
Lieutenant (jg) Richard S. Melton, MSG, USNR 

and 

Lieutenant (jg) Edwin P. Hollander, MSG, USNR^ 



Approved Tjy 

Captain Ashton Graybiel, MC, USN 
Director of Research 



Released by 

Captain James L. Holland, MC, USN 
Commanding Officer 



Ih May 195^ 



Now with the Psychological Sciences Division, Office of Naval Research. 
Now at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. 



SUMMARY 



The adjustment of HavCads to the Naval Air Training Program and the 
attendant changes in attitude and personality characteristics that take 
place during this program are of" concern to many segments of this society 
both within and without the military establishment. 

The Navy's concern relates to selection and training. Faced with the 
mission of producing officer pilots, the Training Command must mold a wide 
variety of personalities into a military pattern. The ease with which such 
behavior changes can be effected is a function of the plasticity of the 
individuals under training. If they can be easily modified, or if those 
who can adjust and make the necessary changes in behavior can be identified 
the selection and training problem can be facilitated. 

Of further interest is the possibility of finding relationships be- 
tween the changes that occur in training and training criteria themselves. 
Current selection methodology is "based on a prediction from a cross section 
al "picture" of the individual at the timt.- he makes application. It is 
possible that a "moving picture" of him as he progresses through training 
may give more insight into his behavior and may be used to predict his 
ultimate success in training and operational duty. 

The present study is a preliminary one aimed at estiinating the amount 
and nature of personality modifications that take place during the four 
months of Pre-Fllght. The Guilford, Guilford -Mart in series of tests were 
used, and a group of 3l6 WavCads constituted the sample. Significant 
chants were observed on three traits, Ag (agreeableness) , T (thinking 
introversion-extroversion) and G (general pressure for overt activity) . 
In addition, there was a marked increase in the use of the question mark 
(undecided) response. These changes and their implications were given 
tentative esq^Xeumtions. 



I 



INTRODUCTION 

The Navy views naval aviators as naval officers first and aviators 
second. As officers, they are expected to behave in certain ways that are 
compatible with the naval service. They must.be able to give and take 
orders. They must be respectful of their superiors and, in turn, they must 
be able to command the respect of their juniors. They are expected to be 
competent in a vfide variety of naval duties, for Navy policy calls for con- 
tinuous rotation into widely differing billets. 

The naval aviator must also, of course, be able to pilot a number of 
different kinds of aircraft in a variety of missions. He may expect oper- 
ational flying, administrative duty, instructional duty, as well as certain 
kinds of collateral duties. To the extent that he can meet all these re- 
quirements, plus those required of any naval officer, he is a satisfactory 
naval aviator, and to the extent that he is superior in these respects, he 
can expect to rise in the naval service. 

Precisely what kind of a person the Navy desires for naval aviation 
duty has never been adequately defined. Hence, it is difficult to know what 
kind of men to select and how to train those who are selected. Further, 
it is not known to what extent the characteristics of a good pilot are 
identical, related or mutually exclusive of the desired characteristics of 
a good naval officer. 

Even if the desired end product of selection and training were known, 
other questions would require answering. Must a man have these attributes 
at the time he enters the training program, or can a training program mold 
a man into the desired pattern? Obviously, training can produce certain 
changes in people. How much can be accomplished and what side effects may 
also occijr are not known. If any kind of person can be molded into the 
military pattern, selection ceases to be a problem. However, this seems 
unlikely, especially in the case of an officer training program. Fxirther, 
it is not known which kii^i of person vill ultimately make the best pilot - 
officer. Is it the man who enters the service already possessing the 
attributes demanded in the end product? Is it the individual who, regard- 
less of the personality structure with which he enters the program, ulti- 
mately "conforms" and makes the necessary modifications? Or, is it the 
man who retains his own structure and merely compromises with military 
demands while in the military establishment? 

Many segments of our society are concerned with these problems, both 
within and without the military establishment. The interest of the military 
is obvious. The interest of the civilian society relates to the long term 
effects of military training, since most of the young men of this nation 
will probably undergo at least a limited amount of military training during 
the next decade or two. The adjustment of these men to military life and 
the resultant changes in attitudes and personality characteristics may have 
considerable effects on the society as a whole. 



2 



Tiie present study is an atteiiipt to obtain sons olJjective evidence of 
the changes that occur during an officer training program, in this case the 
Naval Aviation Cadet Program. Although this program may not he considered 
typical of all military training progratns, if reliable changes be found 
here, it is likely that changes will also be found to occur in other such 
programs . 

This study also is a preliminary attempt at what may be called "dynamic 
testing." It has long been recognized that human organisms are not static 
and that a "still shot" may not present a very adequate picture of an in- 
dividual. The extent to which people change and the nature of these changes 
may very well present a more adequate picture of personality dynamics than 
a single static "exposure", sM these changes may have significance for a 
number of external events, such as performance in training, operational 
duty, and so forth. 

SUBJECTS, IHSTRUMEMTS , AMD DESIGN gF_ INVESTIGATION 

A sajsple of 5l6 cadets who entered the training program between l8 
August and 27 October 1952 were selected as the experimental subjects. This 
includes classes -55-52 through ^1-5-52, with the unavoidable exception of 
class 55-52. All the cadets were tested in groups diu-ing their indoctri- 
nation week. 

!Ehe tests utilized were the Guilford and Guilford -Mart in series, STDCR, 
GAMIN, and OAgCo (l,2,3,ii-). The first two were chosen because they were de- 
veloped on college populations, and the scales in all of them were factor 
analytically derived. The definitions of trait names were given by the 
authors and are reproduced below in abbreviated form. 

S - social introversion-extroversion. Shyness, seelusiveness, 
tendency to withdraw from social contacts, versus soci- 
ability, tendency to seek social contacts and to enjoy 
the company of others. 

T - thinking introversion-extroversion. An inclination to 

meditative or reflective thinking, philosophizing, analysis 
of one's self and others, versus an extrovertive orientation 
of thinking. 

D - depression - habitually gloomy, pessimistic mood, with 
feelings of guilt and unwarthiness, versus cheerfulness 
and optimism. 

C - cycloid disposition, strong emotional fluctuations, tenden- 
cies toward flightiness and emotional instability, versus 
uniformity and stability of moods, evenness of disposition. 

R - rhathymla - a happy-go-lucky, carefree disposition, liveli- 
ness, lurpulslveness, versus an inhibited overcontrolled, 
conscientious serious -minded disposition. 



G - general pressure for overt activity. 

A - ascendency in social situations as opposed to submissive - 
nessj leadership qualities. 

M - masculinity of attitudes and interests as opposed to 
femininity, 

I - lack of inferiority feelings; self-confidence. 

U - lack of nervous tenseness and irritability. 

- objectivity - ae opposed to personal reference or a 
tendency to take things personally. 

Ag - agreeableness - as opposed to Ijelligerence or a dominating 
disposition and an overreadiness to fight for trifles. 

Co - cooperatlvenesB - as opposed to fault finding or over- 
criticalness of people and things. 



With the exception of the M scale, higher scores indicate more socially 
desirable behavior, although extremely high scores may be indicative of 
some maladjustment. In the M scale, high scores are in the masculine 
direction. 

The design of the study is that of a simple test-retest. The first 
testing came during indoctrination week. Following this, the HavGads 
entered the Pre -Flight phase of training, a period of approximately l6 
weeks. At the completion of Pre -Flight the sample was retested with the 
same instrument b. The changes on each sub scale were then analyzed separate- 
ly by means of the randomized blocks design, each cadet being considered one 
block. This analysis has the advantage of reducing the error variance by 
removing the variation between subjects, thus allowing a more sensitive test 
of the major (between testings) hypothesis and also allowing a test of the 
inter-subject variation. In addition to the scale scores, the number of 
undecided ("?") responses in each test was computed for each subject and 
analyzed by the same technique. 



RESULTS AMD DISCUSSION 



Table 1 gives the pre-^test aM. post-test means and variances. The 
significance of the differences in means were found by the randomized blocks 
analyses listed in Table 2. 

Of the scale scores, Ag (agreeableness) showed the most significant 
shift (P<.00l). Since the shift was in the downward direction, It should 
be interpreted as an indication that the cadets as a group became somewhat 
more belligerent, dominant, or in any event less agreeable. Since a high 
Boore may Indicate a lack of fighting tendencies, even to the point of 



pacifism, the shift here may be a highly desirable one from the viewpoint 
of those who have the responsibility for training aggressive officers. On 
the other hand, this shift may reflect an unhealthy state of hostility and 
rebellion. Since feost of these men have had no previous military indoctri- 
nation, the highly military regimen of Pre-Plight may have induced atti- 
tudes of aggression and feelings of hostility toward the program. 

It will be of interest to see if those individuals who showed the most 
pronounced shifts have further difficulties in adjusting to the program. 
To the extent that belligerence does exist, there- is a problem of channel- 
ling these energies into constructive efforts by the training officers. An 
increase in belligerence may be desirable or undesirable, depending on how 
it is handled. 

The mean score on T (thinking introversion-extroversion) also shifted 
downward significantly (P<.Ol). This is indicative of a movement toward 
introvertive thinking on the part of the group. Whether this shift is a 
desirable one from the point of view of the Naval Air Training Command is 
of course unknown. It has been observed that individuals who score on the 
introvert side of this scale sometimes have a small but distinct advantage 
over the man who scores on the extrovert side, since the latter Individual 
often tends to be so taken up with social interactions that he may be a poor 
observer of other people and of himself. It may also be that the l6 weeks 
of concentrated Pre -Flight studying caused this shift. 

The third scale score that showed a significant change (P<.05) was 
G (general pressure for overt activity). This would seem to indicate a 
loweriEg of activity level for the group. By definition, a high score on 
this factor indicates strong drive, energy, and activity. Interpretation 
of the G factor must be done on an individual basis, however. For example, 
if an individual should be inclined to dominance, his high status on G would 
make his characteristic behavior more obvious and overt. Thus, it is diffi- 
cult to discuss this finding without referring to each individual pattern 
of scores. It is true that these young men had just finished a section of 
the training program in which much time and enervy is devoted to physical 
development through calisthenics and a rigorous sports program. For many 
of them, this has been a period demanding much energy and perhaps more 
activity than at any other time of their life. Therefore, any test item 
reminiscent of the hours of drill, push-ups, boxing, and football might have 
a decidely negative appeal. 

Another interesting facet of this study is the marked increase found in 
utilization of the q.\aeBtion mark {"?") response. Although the test authors 
gave no independent interpretation of "?" responses, a variety of test con- 
structors and test users have been concerned with the use of the question 
marl: response (6) . While relatively little is known about it, it may be 
indicative of two things, 1) hostility toward the testing, and 2) un- 
certainty of one's attitudes or seli" concept. 

Either or both of these may have operated in this experiment. The 
testing during indoctrination week was part of a novel experience, and more 



desirable test taking attitudes would be expected then, than after l6 weeks 
of Pre-Flight, Thus, the increase in question mark responses may reflect 
a change in test taking attitudes. 

On the other hand, it seems likely that the impact of l6 weeks in the 
Training Coromand, taay have had some effects on their attitudes both toward 
themselves and toward external factors. Self concept theory Indicates that 
attitudes toward self^ although organized, are in a constant state of flux 
and may be revised to assimilate new experiences (5). Many new experiences 
occur during Pre-Flight, and it is likely that many cadets upon becoming 
acquainted with the qualities of "officerness" and "aviatorness" may 
consciously or unconsciously reevalute themselves. They learn that certain 
klrids of behavior 'aire expected of them, and to the extent that these be- 
haviors are not already in their repertory, modifications must be made. 
The increase in the q.uestion mark response may very well reflect ongoing 
changes and specifically, some uncertainty as to Just what they do think 
about themselves and others. Item analyses of the tests may shed some 
light on the precise nature of these changes in attitudes. 

The change in question mark responses has one other important impli- 
cation for this study, namely, its effects on the other scale scores. It 
Is possible that the interpretation of the changes in Ag, T, and G is con- 
foxinded to the extent that question mark responses enter in the scoring of 
those scales. That is, the changes observed in those scales may be due to 
an increase In the use of the question mark, and not a group shift on the 
trait as such. No question mark responses as such are scored in T and G, 
and only five can contribute to Ag, but unless external factors like test- 
"taking attltxjdes and uncertainty of attitudes can be ruled out as causes 
of the question mark utilization, the meaning of the shifts on these three 
scales la ambiguous. Since these factors cannot be ruled out, the results 
can be Interpreted two ways: l) they are indicative of true changes in 
"the traits, or 2) they are changes caused by external factors which arc 
reflected in increased use of the question mark, It is of further interest 
to note that the most significant change (Ag) oecurred in the test which 
elicited the biggest change in use of the question mark. 

One final point merits mention.: in Table 2, the "between individuals" 
variation was highly significant for all scales. This means that there was 
in general a consistency between the cadets' first scores and second scores. 
That is, the variation between individuals was signif icantly greater than 
the variation "within individuals." This consistency is further illustrated 
in the test-retest correlations, which are listed in Table 5. 

On most of the scales there were no significant changes, and this fact 
is important in and of itself. The interested reader may wish to review 
the scales on which no chaises were founds but detailed discussion of the 
implications of each of these results would only serve to obscure the 
primary findings. 

All considered, then, it appears that certain changes did take place 
in this cadet sample through the course of Pre-Flight training although the 



interpretation is difficult. The kinds of changes noted are in keeping 
with what one might have imagined them to be as a consequence of this kind 
of experience. It is possible that these changes would also have been 
found to occur in a control sample (e.g,, college students of the same age) 
but due to the difficulty of obtaining an adequate control group and due to 
the fact that the main intent of the study was to measure the changes that 
occur in the Kaval Air Training Program', the control group design was re- 
jected at the time the study was planned, 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 



1. Guilford, J. P. and Guilford, R. B. Personality factors B, R, T and A. 

abn. and soc. Psychol. , 1959* 21-56. 

2. Guilford, J. P. and Guilford, R. B Personality factors N and GD. 

J^. abn. and soc. Psychol., 1959* 5^^,, 259-2^8. 

3. Guilford, J. P. and Guilford, B. B. Personality factors S, E, and M, 

and their measurement. Psychol., 195^, 2, 107-127. 

k. Martin, H. G. fhe construction of th© Guilford -Mart in Inventory of 
factors G A M I M. £:. appl. Psychol.. 29, 19^5* 298-5OO. 

5. Rogers, C. R. Client Centered Therapy . Boston: Houghton Miflin, 1951. 

6. Rosenberg, N., Izard, G. E. and Hollander, E. P. Middle category ("?") 

response: reliability and relationship to personality and intelli- 
gence variables. U. S. Naval School of Aviation Medicine Research 
Project No. NM 001 077-01.01, I6 June 1955- 



TABLE 1 



CHMGES IN PERSONALITY VARIABLES 
FROM IKDOCTRIMATION WEK TO COMPLETION OF PRE-FLIGHT-^ 

(w = 516). 



Indoctrlnat ion 
Scale Mean 


Completion 
Mean 


Difference 


Indoctrination 
Vsiriance 


Completion 
Variance 


S 


15.63 


13.61*. 


-0.01 


82.27 


, 75.70 


T 


31.76 


50.47 


1.29** 


90.92 


104.35 


D 


12.61 


12.55 


0.06 


90.52 


103.20 


C 


18.77 


18. 76 


O.OI 


104.08 


116.35 


R 


45. ,01 ■. 


43.16 


-0.15 


112.56 


122.31 





53.01 


52.57 


0,44 


135.33 


174.20 


Co 


65. 7^^ 


64.78 


0.96 


222.55 


518,18 


Ag 


35 A5 


53. 54' 




94.83 


111.91 


G 


12.58 


11.89 . 


0.49* 


17.63 


19.77 


A 


23.08 


23.51 


-0.43 


42.41 


46.38 


M 


25.71 


25.57 


0.14 


12.58 


17.^7 


I 


36.97 


37.43 


-0.46 


55.35 


66.32 


N 


50.59 


30.25 


0.34 


41.07 


55.65 


?-STDaR 


12.14-6 


15.74 


-3.28*^* 


. 178.99 . 


305.00* 


?-OCoAg 


10.89 


15.69 


-4.80*^* 


126,26 


249.59** 


? -GAMIN 


12.03 


15.88 


-3.85*** 


161.39 


530.72** 


? -Total 


55.58 


1^7.51 


-11.95*** 


1125.66 


2440.68** 



All data were treated in raw score form. 

*■ denotes significance at the .05 level, 
** denotes significance at the .01 level. 
'^** denotes significance at the .001 level. 

The four significant variance ratios are indicated in the same way. 



TABI^E 2 



RAJTOOMIZED BLOCKS ANALYSIS OP CHANGES IN SCALE SCORES 



Testing 1 
Individuals 



Testing 
Individuals 
Error 



O.Ol^ O.Oh 



Error „ 

Total 651 i^9>758.55 



Total 5^ 61,775.53 



Scale Source of Variation df Sum of Squares Mean Sq.uare F 



315 45,557.07 138.28 7.02^ 

315 6. 201. 46 19.69 



1 265.59 265,59 8.65*-' 

515 51,919.35 161^.82 5.41*''"" 

15 Q. 590. 61 30.45 



Testing 1 0-70 O.70 

Indiviluals 315 55,890.58 171.08 7.56^'^-^> 

Errors 51^ 7.130.80 22.6k 

Total 651 61,021.88 



Testing 1 .'kui--^^ 

Individuals 
Error 
Total 



515 60,855.57 195.19 7.04^ 

511 8.638.48 27.42 

651 69,495.86 



Testing 1 3-50 5.50 •*•»*« 

Individuals 515 61,652.72 195.72 5.00*^* 

Error 211 T^-^3l^.00 39.16 

Total 631 75,990.22 



Testing 1 30.15 50.15 

Individuals 315 79,554.59 251.92 4.57^' * 

Error ^il ifl. 146.86 57- 61 

Total 651 97/551.58 

Testing 1 146.25 146.23 I.76 

Individuals 315 144,111.44 457.50 5-50 

Error ^il ^6 .PI 7. 77 85.23 

Total 631 170,475.44 



TABLE 2 (Cont^d) 



Scale Soiarce of Variation df Sua of Squares Mean Square 



Ag 



Testing 
Individuals 

Error 
Total 



1 

515 
515 
651 



579-15 
53,958.48 

ll,l6U.35 
65,701.98 



579.15 16. 3V^^-"^ 
171.30 l+.83^'*=-^' 
55. H 



Testing 1 

Individuals 515 

Error 315 

Total 651 



37.55 
9,832,50 
1,946.1^.7 
11,816.30 



37.53 
51.21 
6.18 



6. of 
5.05 



Test in,"; 
Individiials 
Error. 
Total 



1 
315 
515 
651 



29.27 

5.818.75 
27,996.45 



29.27 2.4l 
76.66 6.52*«^^ 
12.12 



M 



Testing 
Individuals 
Error 
Total 



1 

515 
515 
S5I 



3.06 
7,555.74 

2 130.94 
9,469.74 



3.06 
23,29 
6.76 



N 



Testing 1 

Individuals 515 

Error 515 

Total 631 



Testing 
Individuals 

Error 
Total 



1 
515 

651 



55.27 
51,625.17 

6,700.23 
38,356.67 



18.46 
25,263.04 
5.204.54 
30,486.04 



55.27 1.56 
100.59 4.72*^'* 
21.27 



18.46 1.12 
80.20 4.85***' 
16.52 



Testing 
Individuals 
Error 
Total 



1 

515 

Ibi" 



1,708.10 
118,005.22 
34,451.40 
154,164.72 



1,708.10 15.62 
374.62 5.45*'*** 
109.37 



TABLE 2 (Cont^d) 



Scale Source of Variation 



df 



Sum of Squares Mean Square 



II oil 



OCoAg "1 



GAMIN 



TOTAL "? 



tiolt 



Testing 
Individuals 
Error 
Total 



Testing 
Individuals 
Error 
Total 



1 

315 
315 
S51 



3,656.^8 

29,097.52 
122, 028. if 5 



"Testing 1 2,559-65 

Individuals 315 114,7^1-57 

Error 31^ ifO.275.55 

Total 631 157,554.57 



285.47 
92.37 



2,339.65 
364.26 

127.85 



1 22,500.70 22,500.70 

315 875,007.99 2,777.80 

315 247.759.80 786.54 

651 1,145,268.49 



59.37**^* 



18.30**^ 
2.85**^** 



TABLE 5 

CORRELATIONS BETWEEN FIRST AND SECOND TESTING 

(N = 516) 



Variable 


r 


S 


.75 


T 


.69 


D 


.77 


C 


.75 


R 


.67 


?-STDCR 


.57 





.63 


Co 


.70 


Ag 


.66 


?-OCoAg 




(i 


.67 


A 


.75 


M 


.56 


I 


.65 


N 


.67 


7-GAMIN 


.51 



For N - 316, r = .15*^ P<.01.